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A British playwright, novelist and short story writer William Somerset Maugham, better known as W. Somerset Maugham, was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s. Commercial success with high book sales, successful theatre productions and a string of film adaptations, backed by astute stock market investments, allowed Maugham to live a very comfortable life. Maugham's masterpiece is generally agreed to be Of Human Bondage, a semi-autobiographical novel that deals with the life of the main character Philip Carey, who, like Maugham, was orphaned, and brought up by his pious uncle. Maugham's public view of his abilities remained modest. Toward the end of his career, he described himself as "in the very first row of the second-raters." Honolulu is a famous short story by Somerset Maugham which was part of his larger collection, The Trembling Leaf, in which the author uncovers the dark underpinnings of what at first glance seems “a typical western city” of the 1920s. In it we meet the protagonist, a crusty sea caption who is being prayed to death by a jealous rival. Not until the very end does the reader realize that the plot has been an elaborate setup for the famous concluding sentence, “There’s something about a Chink, when he lays himself out to please a woman she can’t resist him.” Listen online to free English audiobook "Honolulu” on our website to experience Somerset Maugham's classic short story.

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